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Meta Under EU Investigation for Alleged Failure to Combat Russian Disinformation

Meta (Credits: Al Jazeera)

The European Commission has initiated an investigation into Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to examine the spread of political disinformation on its platforms and potential violations of European regulations.

The investigation, announced on Tuesday, will focus on Meta’s policies related to political and election content, including deceptive advertisements and disinformation, which could pose risks to consumers and civic discourse.

The commission will assess whether Meta’s policies comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act, a comprehensive set of tech regulations that came into effect in February.

Specifically, the inquiry will examine Meta’s policy of limiting the visibility of political content, ensuring it meets the Digital Service Act’s requirements for transparency and mitigating risks to civic discourse and electoral processes.

Meta Icon (Credits: The Guardian)

Additionally, the EU will investigate Meta’s decision to shut down the CrowdTangle tool, which allowed researchers and journalists to track potential misinformation on its platforms.

The commission will examine the “non-availability of an effective third-party real-time” election monitoring tool ahead of elections in the EU and member states, and whether it complies with the bloc’s digital regulations.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the importance of the inquiry, stating that the commission has created measures to protect European citizens from targeted disinformation and manipulation by third countries.

She stressed that big digital platforms must fulfill their obligations to allocate sufficient resources to combat disinformation, especially during democratic elections.

Ursula von der Leyen (Credits:

Meta responded, stating that it has a well-established process for identifying and mitigating risks on its platforms and looks forward to continuing its cooperation with the European Commission. This initial step by the commission marks the beginning of a formal inquiry, allowing for further enforcement and information gathering.

Under the Digital Services Act, the EU has taken similar actions against other tech companies, including X and TikTok. This investigation demonstrates the EU’s commitment to addressing potential violations by tech companies and ensuring compliance with its regulations.

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